ISLAMABAD

Government is all set to cancel the allotment of 28 blocks, where petroleum companies have not initiated exploration activities yet.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources officials disclosed this during the National Assembly Standing Committee MNP&R meeting held here on Tuesday.

We have identified 28 blocks where work has not been initiated, we are writing to those companies and if no satisfactory answer would receive, the allotments would be cancelled, officials informed.

Giving the details of those dormant blocks the officials said that 13 are in Balochistan, 5 in KPK, 4 in Punjab, and 6 in Sindh, where the companies have started no work.

Answering a question Secretary Ministry of Petroleum Abid Saeed admitted that the pace of action against the companies who have not started exploration work after the allotment of blocks is very slow.

The meeting turned into hot discussion when OGDCL presented the details of development work they have carried out in areas where the company is drilling or is busy in exploration in different parts of the country and members turned those statistics a bunch of lies. They said instead of development the infrastructure in areas where oil and gas discovered has ruined. They also mentioned that oil companies have appointed contractors who exploit the locals by paying them minimum wages and deny compulsory day offs.

The members of the committee also pointed out that gas is not provided to localities, which are very close to gas fields.

OGRA chief Naseem Ahmad Khan informed the committee that interviews for the vacant post of member oil and the names have been forwarded to Prime Minister and after the appointment of Member Oil, the quorum of the authority would be completed and the pending cases would be cleared.